We hear, courtesy of our industry colleagues at BBT Online in Brussels that on 15 February Visit Brussels proudly presented its Tram Experience concept to the press. Some are more equal than others, however, on the city’s public transport?and event organisers are second class citizens, apparently.
As of 2 March, a specially decorated tram with 34 seats will be travelling on certain evenings through Brussels. Passengers will be able to tuck in to a three-course menu of Belgian classics prepared by top Belgian Chefs all at a cost of €75 per person.
So far the idea is well on track: the tram looks good, the concept is solid, the trip in itself of great interest.
The problem starts when one wants to know about corporate privatising of the tram in question.
Nowhere on the ‘Brusselicious’ website is there any mention of corporate promotions. Our Belgian friends report they eventually prised a copy of the corporate brochure from the tourism agency after several calls.
“At first we thought our calculator had given up, but alas no, the corporate rate for renting all 34 seats had risen to a whopping € 6,000 plus VAT,” they say. “Or, from €75pp to €213pp. When we enquired about this huge difference over the phone we were told that as the price for the public was fairly low, it had been decided to make some more money on the corporate side (sic).
“Was there something extra provided for this mega difference? No, not at all, the service, the meals and the itinerary will be exactly the same as for individuals.
“Are they killing off yet another excellent initiative by not thinking everything through? How can event agents sell this to their clients when they can book their own table for nearly a third of the price?”
What would Hercule Poirot make of people making a killing on public transport, one wonders?